Thursday, August 30, 2012

State of Affairs

Watching Clint Eastwood speak at the RNC right now.

Hysterical!!!

I should be in bed as we are hitting the road at 6am to head to Chicago for the long weekend, but I really want to see Mitt Romney deliver his nomination acceptance speech, and I'm still looking for a glimpse of my parents in the crowd (I think I actually saw my mom earlier tonight!!)!

Got a call from our real estate agent tonight that the appraisal on our GA house finally came back and it's right where we need it to be......it's been a week and some of us were sweating it just a bit.....not ME of course......no way ;)

The bank for our house-to-be accepted our offer (it's a foreclosure).  It looks like we bought the farm.  Or we could have one.....if we wanted....on our soon-to-be 17 acres :)

The new house is in South Carolina.

Details coming soon.  Sorry for the delay.  Still ironing out the final details.

Nikki Haley will be our next governor in the great state of South Carolina.....

WHEW!  Awesome!  If you're a politic-lover like me, that is :)

We close on the GA house in mid-October....not sure when we will close on the SC house.....(details, details) ......lots to do between now and then!  I'm tired just thinking about it.

Jacob loves his new preschool.  I was fortunate enough to find another preschool for him when we get to South Carolina....I think he'll love that one too :)

Noah has decided he wants to go back to a brick and mortar school.

I'm hurt, but if that's what he wants to try, then we'll give it a go.  Turns out that the elementary school near our new house is an International Baccalaureate school......I'm still learning about what this means, but it seems to be a really good thing!

Matthew, Josh & Sophie want to keep doing school from home, and I'm happy with that!

I now have TWO Romney/Ryan stickers on my car, and I've had several comments on them!  All good, and I love it!  I wore my Romney/Ryan "America's Comeback Team" shirt yesterday and got lots of stares....love that too ;)

Rubio is about to wrap up and Romney will be up next, so I'm closing shop for now.  Now that things are finally getting ironed out around here, I am looking forward to a couple of days away, visiting old friends and forgetting about my increasingly long to-do list for our upcoming move!!

Good night and God Bless :)



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The RNC


This week my parents are here


Attending the Republican National Convention!

Here's my mom from last night (you might notice up and coming Republican Mia Love on stage in the background!)


And here's my dad in the audience


My parents are there to represent the state of Montana


My mom was elected as a delegate this year and got to cast her vote for Mitt :)


I don't know any of these people


because I stole these pictures off of my mom's Facebook page ;)


But I do recognize Ann Romney!  And I thoroughly enjoyed her speech last night!!!


I also loved listening to Chris Christie last night.....totally awesome!!!!!


You might say I come from a very political family, and I must admit, I am exceedingly jealous of my parents right now!  I would LOVE to be in Tampa with them!  And when I talked on the phone with my mom this morning, I made sure to tell her that, next time she goes to the RNC, I intend to tag along :)

If you want to see what my mom has to say about her experience at the RNC, you can check out her latest blog post here!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Enjoying Georgia

Saturday, we took advantage of one of the beautiful mountains (or large hills....to be exact....although they DO call them mountains here!) near our house to go for a hike!


The mountain is also the sight of a Civil War battle, and there is lots of great history there.  The hike was one mile straight up.....


And we had to take a couple of short breaks


But the boys did a great job and made it all the way to the top in no time :)  From the top, you can see out to Atlanta and beyond....a great view!



We loved looking at the old cannons displayed on the mountain top ;)


And discovering caves in the rocks!


We walked back down on the road (about 2 miles back to the bottom)


And after expending all of our energy, we were excited to stop down the road for some homemade biscuits and cinnamon rolls :)

They have these great little hole-in-the-wall biscuit places all over Georgia, but this is the first time we have actually stopped at one, and now I'm wishing we hadn't waited so long!


We had assorted biscuits from the "build-your-own" biscuit menu (sausage and cheese, bacon and egg, etc....anything you can think of!) and cinnamon rolls.  And the sweet tea was as good as it gets!  I just LOVE the south :)


The biscuits were HUGE!


We spent the afternoon doing yard work and chores, and then headed out to another Georgia favorite in the early evening......



The Pigs-n-Peaches BBQ Festival!


Emily just loves her BBQ y'all ;)


And apparently, so does Matthew!

Caleb just liked the free Krispy Kreme Donuts they were sampling!


We also got to sample free deep fried brownies.....


Another favorite was the ribbon fries!


Topped off with chicken-on-a-stick!


Some of the kids took a turn at the bean bag toss to try to win a prize from CharBroil....


Even Zack gave it a go.....


while the Gang looked on....


But it was actually Sophie that got the hole in one and the chance to spin for a prize!


We had a GREAT day!  We have come to love this area so much....such an amazing place for families with lots of activities, wonderful people, gorgeous weather....

biscuits, BBQ & sweet tea ;)

And I found this wonderful little sign yesterday that I can't wait to hang in our next house- here's what it says:

The South

The place where...... 1)Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter. 2)Summer starts in April. 3)Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. 4)Front porches are wide and words are long. 5)Pecan pie is a staple. 6)Y'all is the only proper noun. 7)Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8)Everything is Darlin'. 9)Someone's heart is always being blessed.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Homeschool Week One & other news!

Last Friday was a Georgia tax-free day, so we hit the stores early to shop for the few school supplies that we still needed.  Then we spent the afternoon sorting and organizing our K12 homeschool curriculum :)


I have to apologize to Sophie for this picture I snapped of her!  I didn't realize her eyes were closed until I had it uploaded into my post, and since Blogger is so touchy, once a picture is there.....it stays!


I think she was reciting Shakespeare at the time ;)

So, while some of the big kids and I unpacked boxes, Emily entertained the little kids with a new puzzle!


And a couple of hours later, what started as mass chaos.....


finally turned into something much more manageable :)




Finding extra space in the room for all the new books was a challenge, but I wasn't too worried about it since I know we will soon be gone.....


Have I mentioned that we sold our house?!  Maybe not!  I forget what I put on Twitter & Facebook vs. what I put on my blog sometimes ;)


Anyway, yes, our house sold!  And we feel like it was in the nick of time too as school has now started and the market has completely dried up.  We have to be out on October 11th, so we have just over a month before our lives are (for the 2nd time in one year) boxed up and thrown on a moving truck!

 But I'll fill in the moving details in another post.....back to homeschool!  

This past Monday was our first day of school


Josh likes to work in the breakfast room while the little boys are upstairs in the school/play room.  We seem to be off to a good start after our first week.  I am enjoying the fact that there is no morning rush to get all the kids to school!  I let them wake up when they're ready (usually around 7:30 or 8:00) and get started after they complete their morning routine.  So some may start at 7:30 while others are starting closer to 9.  

This week was spent getting familiar with the program, so we had some bumps along the way, but we survived and are looking forward to a trip to Bass Pro Shop tomorrow!  We have to be out of the house for our home inspection for several hours, and that happens to be the one place we can spend an entire day and never get bored ;)  But that means that the rest of today will be spent cleaning and scrubbing for the inspection and for the new homeowner (who has actually never seen the house and is traveling from Europe to see it for the first time tomorrow).  Prayers for a smooth transition over the next couple of months MUCH appreciated!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Favorite Florida pics!


I honestly didn't plan to get any family shots on our trip.  I guess because we were supposed to be camping, I wasn't thinking much about photography!  But I did have my camera at the beach every day we were there, and I just couldn't resist the opportunity to snap a few favorite poses......


We did this same shot last time we were in Florida.  I'm a little disappointed with this one because the background has people in it, but we were on such a crowded beach, it's amazing that I got one this good!

A little later in the afternoon, I was able to get this shot of the boys.....


These are all straight out of the camera....I wasn't too worried about shooting in raw, ISO or aperture .....for once ;)

The last night we were there, I decided to get some family shots on the beach at dusk.  We didn't come prepared with clothing for pictures, so we did the best we could!  I was really opposed to everyone wearing white shirts because it's so cliche (every other group taking pictures that night had on white!), but, honestly, I'm really wishing we had just done it!  It really looks the best, and I don't know when I'll get the opportunity to do this again :(


Noah was making a funny face, but it was the best shot of everyone else!  Why oh why is it always the big ones that cause the most trouble during photo shoots?!?!

Just the boys....


That one was better, but it took several "takes" to get it, as you can see from this next one ;)


And my favorite shot of the boys


My all grown up girls :)


And the whole gang!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Destin 2012

We just got back from our much-anticipated vacation last weekend, and I wanted to share some pictures, but I have a little story to go along with them since our camping plans didn't work out as we had hoped.  The original agenda was to go camping on the beach at a state park in Destin, Florida.....but that's not what happened ;) 

 We arrived at Destin in 2 cars loaded down with camping gear for the week under very stormy skies, only to find that our campsite was much too small!  It turned out that I had booked the park's one and only "buddy site," and it was meant for 2 families camping together, with space for only one small tent and another family sharing the same parking space.  When I booked it, I let them know that we had 2 tents and 2 vehicles!

And because of all our stuff plus 10 chairs, etc, there was simply NO way.  Not even ONE of our tents would fit in the space with room to walk around the site....it was that small!

As we sat in the car debating our options, a downpour ensued and then the hail commenced.  After checking the weather for the next few days only to find more severe storms in the forecast, we knew we would either have to head back home or plan to stay somewhere with slightly more protection from the weather!  

We had stayed at some condos in Ft. Walton Beach several years earlier and knew of a company that had lots of properties for rent, so we got busy on our smartphones and started making some calls.  Because of our situation and the last minute notice, we were actually able to score an incredible deal for the week, much less than we ever would have paid had I booked in advance.....although I would not recommend ever trying this deliberately, it worked out for us this time!

We decided to go for it, making it our early family Christmas present :)  And because the campground had made the mistake of letting me book a site that was too small for us in the first place, we were able to get a full refund to put toward our condo.

By late afternoon, we were checked in to our new 2 bedroom condo, enjoying the view from our balcony on the 16th floor.....


It turned out that the hotel was within a mile of the campground and connected to the same stretch of beach!

Emily, being afraid of heights, was NOT pleased with the location of our room.....


and she wouldn't go out on the deck for the first couple of days!

Here's a shot of the master bedroom!  It was so lovely and had it's own door to the balcony :)


This is a shot I took our first morning from the bed after waking up....


I love sleeping with the door open and listening to the ocean waves crash all night long!!

We couldn't go to the beach the first day because the storms were really intense, so we hit Fudpuckers instead.  I didn't take my camera since the weather was terrible, so I don't have any shots from our first day, but here are the boys on our second morning....ready to hit the beach!


The water was glorious!  I live for this!


The first few days we had great waves, and the girls liked to go out past where they were crashing and just hang out for hours talking and enjoying the amazing water! 


Josh waiting to catch a wave


And Matthew just finished riding one!

Noah in the middle of a ride :)


LOOK at that beautiful green water!  I just adore Destin!!!!


Zack with Jacob up on his shoulders :)


While we spent most of our time in the water, we did have some beach games with us....


We call that one horse balls ;)

Caleb was happy to drag around a boogie board most of the day




Matthew took the role of a superhero and enjoyed punching the waves as they came at him!




View from the balcony one of our mornings there




The last couple of days, the water was much more calm in the mornings and there were virtually no waves, so there were tons of fish right where we were swimming.  The kids were using their crabbing nets to catch different forms of marine life :)


I spent most of my time just like this.....


Can you believe this is the ocean????  It looks more like a pool!


Gorgeous and so clear!!






Caleb enjoying his afternoon nap :)


The girls & I sitting by the water on the last day..... some of them had gotten a little too much sun the day before ;)






In the end, we had a fabulous week, and it turned out that not being able to camp was a blessing in disguise!  And we learned a lesson about tent camping in Florida......don't do it!!!!!  The weather is just too unpredictable and too severe during the summer.  But things turned out for the best, and it ended up being a much-needed stress-relieving break for the whole family.....especially since we had shelter from all the afternoon thunderstorms!



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